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Key Takeaways

  • RV parks are expensive because they're privately owned businesses. They need to be open year-round.
  • Most parks offer a lot more amenities than just parking such as showers and laundry machines.
  • RV parks take up a lot of space and have high maintenance costs.
  • You can still find free or inexpensive camping opportunities.
  • RV Parks offer everything you need in one place and are a convenient way for travelers to rest without putting in extra effort to make a camp.

Planning a vacation or finding a place to stay while full timing in an RV can be frustrating when rates feel high at every RV park you look into.

The growth in popularity of the RV lifestyle has increased the demand for spots at RV parks in recent years. The cost of running a business has also increased and with it the rates for staying at a park. Some RV parks also have high nightly rates because they offer extra amenities to campers.

As someone who boondocks and rarely stays in paid parks because of the cost, I know it is frustrating to see high prices in a park I would like to stay at. Below I’ll go over why some parks are more expensive, as well as some cheaper solutions.



Reasons RV Parks Are Expensive

Why are RV parks so expensive? It's a common question that many first-time RVers ask when they discover the cost of staying overnight at an RV park.

One reason is that the RV park business model is more complex than most other types of businesses, as there's much more required to operate them successfully (and generally profitably).

Parks are open year-round in most areas, which means they must be staffed 24 hours a day and offer amenities such as laundry facilities, showers, and entertainment.

RV parks offer a lot of amenities that you may not have in your camper or RV. If you're going to be staying for a few nights or more, then it makes sense to pay for these amenities. There are

some great benefits to staying at an RV park.

Some RV parks have amenities that make the cost worth it to stay there. For example, some parks have pools, hot tubs and fitness centers. Other parks offer access to a community kitchen or laundry facility.

An RV park provides convenience and comfort that you don't get with hotel rooms. For example, you can park your vehicle right next to your home and then walk inside without having to worry about carrying luggage through a lobby and up two flights of stairs.

RV Parks offer security. Some people feel safer when they're surrounded by other people who own RVs because they know that if something happens during their trip, there are others around who can help them out if needed.

It can be expensive to operate a park for a few reasons:

  • Land. You need to buy land, which can be quite expensive.
  • Utilities. You’ll have to pay for the water, sewer and electric hookups that are necessary for your park.
  • Maintenance costs. Even though you get a lot of visitors every year, it still takes a lot of work to keep everything running smoothly at your park every day—and this includes painting walls and keeping up with landscaping maintenance
  • Insurance costs are another big expense for owners of RV parks because their properties can be very valuable (and therefore vulnerable) if they were ever damaged by fire or storms.

Amenities In RV Parks

Campers expect more amenities than they once did. RVs are no longer just for the outdoorsy types. While it used to be a rare thing for a camper to have cable, WiFi and other modern amenities, today's campers expect these things as part of the package.

What Do RV Parks Offer Other Than Parking

Some parks add entertainment and activities to draw customers.

Some parks offer additional amenities that may be unique to their location. Some parks have pools, playgrounds and other recreational facilities; others have fitness centers and game rooms. Many parks provide an opportunity for guests to enjoy golf courses on the premises or close by.

Many other parks have restaurants on site, while still more allow guests to enjoy restaurant coupons at nearby local eateries. Entertainment options can range from movie theaters and game rooms to pool tables and laundry facilities.

Are RV Parks Always Open

RV parks need to be open year round, so they have to hire people and pay them—and keep them on staff—even when they aren’t getting any business. They also need to maintain their amenities, keep them cleaned regularly, stock them with supplies and make sure everything is working properly at all times.

In addition to all of this maintenance, they also have staff responsibilities such as managing reservations/bookings as well as helping guests find what they're looking for within the park itself.

How Much Space To RVs Take Up When Parking

When you're considering the cost of an RV park, it's important to take into account the size of your rig. The larger your rig, the more space it will take up.

This can affect how much money you end up paying for a night in an RV park. For example, if you have a large trailer that needs a specialized spot you’ll generally be paying more per night.

The problem with this situation is that many parks are not designed for RVs—they were built for RVs decades ago when smaller models were more common. So even if a park has slots large enough for today’s biggest vehicles (and some don’t), those bigger rigs may not fit into the spaces available at all campsites or even parking lots.

Does Harsh Weather Affect The Prices Of RV Parks

The extremes of weather can be a challenge for park owners. Extreme temperatures can cause damage to the park and its infrastructure, which leads to higher maintenance costs and insurance premiums.

The winter months bring freezing temperatures that can cause pipes to burst, while summer months bring heat waves that could harm the health of residents.

Does The Size Or Location Of An RV Park Effect Price

Location is a big factor when it comes to the price of an RV park. The location of your RV park can have an impact on many things, including the cost of utilities, property taxes and insurance.

Does The Age Of An RV Park Mean Anything

A park's age can tell you a lot about its value. If the park is new or very new, it’s likely that they haven't had time to build up their reputation and provide a quality experience for their guests.

If the park has been around for a long time and is still in a great location (like right next to Disneyland), then it will be more expensive than newer parks with less going on around them.

The infrastructure of an RV park affects its value as well as how much money you pay for your stay there—and not just because older parks will have better-maintained roads and sites. The facilities like showers, laundry facilities, common areas and so on are all important factors when determining how valuable an RV park really is.

Nightly Rates at Different Parks

RV parks are expensive because they offer a lot of amenities. Campgrounds that offer these amenities are able to charge higher rates, while parks with fewer amenities will often have lower rates. Other factors, like location and size, can also determine how much you'll pay for an RV park at any given time of year.

Other Factors to Consider When Looking At RV Park Prices

A campground's price tag can depend on several factors. The size of the park and how much land it occupies is one thing to keep in mind when determining how much a park will cost you, as well as its location, amenities and age.

Also important to consider are the maintenance costs associated with keeping up with an older park's upkeep—something that can quickly add up if you don't have enough revenue coming in.

Fortunately for campers who like RV parks but don't have fancy budgets, there are many affordable options available across the country that provide all of the amenities needed for pleasant vacationing without breaking your budget.

What Does It Cost To Run An RV Park

The cost of owning an RV park is much higher than what you may think. When you own the land that your campground sits on, you are responsible for paying the mortgage on it, as well as taxes and maintenance costs. You'll also need to pay insurance and utilities—but who pays which bills depends on where they live.

The price of insuring your property can vary depending on how close it is to a major city or if there are any natural disasters in the area like hurricanes or earthquakes that could affect your business negatively (and therefore cost more money).

Utility costs depend largely upon whether customers stay at their sites full-time or only part-time throughout the year; those who utilize their sites all year round will likely incur greater utility bills since they'll be running air conditioning units far more often than those who visit just during summer months.

What Makes Camping in an RV Park So Expensive?

You're probably wondering why it costs so much to camp in an RV park. The answer is simple: the business model that operates RV parks is expensive.

For starters, the equipment and facilities used by these businesses require a significant investment. A typical RV park requires hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and materials to get started, not including land costs.

The second reason camping can be so pricey is because most are open year round, meaning you'll pay for maintenance during winter months when business slows down tremendously compared to summertime when every available spot is occupied by an RVer or two.